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Fedora extras and the distribution size


In the past few days, we've debated how to get the number of CDs down, and "move xxx to extras" is a common "solution". Problem is, everyone's "xxx" is different, and the line between what belongs in Core vs. extras is gray.

Consider this: Define core as "an interesting and functionally complete system". Define extras as "niche packages, and packages that *functionally* duplicate something already in core".

So, FC consists of a desktop, a browser, a mail client, an MTA, a web server, etc. You can install a system with all the functionality. If your choice of one of those components isn't in core then you can grab it from extras, just like we used to do from the Red Hat Powertools CD years ago (alternative terminals, window managers, irc clients, etc. used to live there). Maybe this means shipping extras CDs as options (as was the case with Powertools). Maybe an optional "KDE extras CD" is worth considering.

In the above scenario, we all end up installing a system from half the number of CDs, and get 90% of what we want. Then we grab the 10% of "personal favourites" we prefer from extras. Everyone elses favourite 10% doesn't affect the size of my download then, and everyone remains happy.

I believe that core should be about shipping one tool to perform each function, and extras are optional replacements and packages that are slightly left-field. By doing this, I think the core distribution would be down to at most two CDs, which I believe people who don't have unlimited amounts of bandwidth would appreciate.

Anyway, the main point of my post is that functionally duplicate packages are the candidates for moving from core to extras.


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